No one knows better than Chuck LeBlanc how overwhelming the process of applying to a graduate-level university program can sometimes be.
As both a former Yorkville University student advisor and a current Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) student, LeBlanc has experienced both sides of the often arduous application process – and has stepped out the other side with a few helpful tips and tricks to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
1) Apply Early
The deadline to apply to Yorkville’s MACP program for the upcoming Spring Term is approaching quickly, so LeBlanc advises prospective students try to complete their applications and gather all required supporting documentation together as soon as possible to avoid any stressful situations.
“You want to apply early for success, because there’s a lot of documents to take care of…I get that you’re nervous, but you should be excited to get it all wrapped up.”
2) Crossing the Finish Line
Admission to Yorkville’s MACP program is on a selective basis, and as such, there are a number of minimum requirements applicants must meet in order to be accepted. They include:
– A bachelor’s or first professional degree from a recognized university (not necessarily with a major in Psychology
– An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) sufficiently strong to support participation in a rigorous, graduate-level program of academic study
– Two letters of reference from professional or academic sources
– A current resume or CV
– A 700- to 1,000-word letter of application substantiating interest, qualifications and experience relevant to the field of counselling psychology.
Although there’s a lot of work that goes into putting together a successful application, LeBlanc guarantees the feeling upon crossing that finish line will be well worth it in the end.
“From the letter of intent and references, all the way to your transcripts, a lot goes into these applications. But how good would it feel to be accepted to the MACP program? We are so excited to have you here at Yorkville University!”
3) Getting Your Transcripts
Generally, graduate programs such as the MACP at Yorkville University require an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 or 4.3 scale, although applicants may be admitted with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 if there is clear evidence in their application leading the admissions committee to believe that the applicant is prepared for graduate study.
Either way, in order to demonstrate the fulfillment of these requirements, prospective students are required to submit their official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions they’ve attended.
“In order get your transcripts, there’s really no easier way to do it than picking up the phone or requesting them online, as annoying as that sounds,” LeBlanc advised. “You can’t just walk into a school and get them. So, pick up the phone, give them a call, and they’ll send them right away.”
4) Letters of Intent
In this 700- to 1,000-word letter, Yorkville University asks all applicants to comment on how their combination of life experience, work and volunteer experience, and education makes them a suitable candidate for the program.
LeBlanc suggests applicants may also wish to comment on how the MACP program would assist them in meeting their career goals.
“The process of writing a letter of intent is to put into words why you want to become a counsellor, so it’s really your opportunity to get everything out on the table and introduce yourself to the admissions committee,” he said.
“There’s a number of really important things to put in to your letter of intent. Essentially, you explain your qualifications as to why you want to take the program – your relevant life experience leading towards the area of counselling – and also talk a little bit about why you want to do that in the first place.”
5) Letters of Reference
Yorkville University requires each applicant submit two letters of reference from professional or academic sources. Each reference must provide the form provided here, as well as a one- to two-page typed letter of support.
LeBlanc advises prospective students to seek such references from people who are able to comment meaningfully on their motivation and ability to undertake graduate study.
“You’re going to want to choose a mentor – someone who knows you in the capacity of counselling and knows what you want to do, so they can give you a very meaningful reference.”
Read more about Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology here.